HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — The Ravalli County sheriff's office says a retired racehorse found dead on a ranch near Hamilton was not shot as it initially appeared, but the cause of death is not clear. Undersheriff Perry Johnson tells the Ravalli Republic the 22-year-old horse had an injury behind its ear, but an X-ray revealed there wasn't a bullet. Sheriff Chris Hoffman says there was no criminal activity involved in the horse's death.

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — Ravalli County officials are investigating after a retired racehorse with a 3-month-old foal was shot to death in her pen on a ranch near Hamilton.

Carla Larson tells the Ravalli Republic (http://bit.ly/M48Jwx) that someone sneaked into the pen early Monday and shot Dynamite Kisser point-blank behind the ear.

Larson says she and her husband bought the 22-year-old retired racehorse three years ago from a friend. She says they just wanted her to live out her life on their ranch. They were surprised this spring when she had a male foal.

Larson says the shooter passed by five other horses, went through a specific gate and shot the horse in the dark. She says the shooter somehow knew their way through the pens and that Dynamite Kisser had recently been moved to another pen.